My Best Friend’s Dogs
Talon has four dogs. Two Great Pyrenees, one pit bull mix, and a sausage dog. Chloe, the sausage dog, is a shih tzu-terrier mix. She is old now, and fat, so she looks like a little black and white sausage on short, stumpy legs. Rufus, the pit bull mix, is love embodied. He is a beautiful brindle, white flecks his muzzle and ears, showing his age. Rufus has allergies, and is constantly itchy. You find his itchy spots, give him a much-needed scratch, and his rear leg starts thumping a frantic rhythm. He whines a silent whine, and closes his eyes, and you know he is in heaven. Bella, one of the Great Pyrenees, barks at the door, no matter who comes in. She knows you, she knows your smell, your voice. But she still stands guard. The fur on the back of her neck is softer than any silk you have ever had the pleasure to touch.
Then there’s Chomper. Chomper is the baby, but larger than any of the others. He is a little over a year, and weighs about as much as a full-grown woman, but believes himself to be a lap dog. You don’t dare tell him otherwise, you don’t hurt his feelings. He paws at you, wanting more attention, even if you have both your hands actively petting him, scratching behind the ears, feeling the soft fur below his chin. He wants more. He always wants more.
Chomper’s eyes look up at you, an earthy brown, surrounded by a soft white. You think to yourself, this is what they mean by puppy dog eyes. The ominous “they,” who don’t want you to know this or that, whom you learned your idioms and colloquialisms from. He raises his heavy body and plops himself down on the couch next to you, creaks rise from the structure of the furniture. You feel yourself sliding a little, his gravity pulling you in. A large paw lands on your knee, he looks at you again, expectant. Your hand reaches over and cups his chin, you give a soft scritch, and his eyelids droop in anticipation of the pleasure he receives.
You press your forehead to his. You whisper words of love and affirmation to him. Heaving a sigh, he leans into you. This is it. This is the purest love you will ever receive. Just when you think everything is right, you are content, he makes it better. He licks your nose, a gentle kiss from him to you.
Zoe Rainey is a 25 year old writer from Tulsa, Oklahoma who spends her days with her cat, her best friend’s four dogs, and attempting to work on her next piece (and the next, and the next). She is active in political activism, mental health advocacy, and the local zine scene.